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Use Fear As Your Strength

Use Fear As Your Strength


    Recently, I did an interview on my motivational video series with a lady named Laura who was one of my ski students this past winter. The reason why I interviewed her was because it turns out that she has done almost 500 skydiving jumps to date, all before turning the age of 25. Needless to say, this really impressed me.

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    During our interview, she mentioned that as a child she was actually very scared of heights. But she claims that fear can be used as a strength — which I found very interesting. Especially because despite her fear, she became an avid skydiver.

    When I interpret this further and think about my own life, I realize that it is indeed true that one can use fear to his or her advantage. Fear can give you some direction on what areas of your life to work on. In many cases, the challenges that have some fear element to them can turn out to be very positive in the end…if you choose to work through them.

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    Examples When Fear Gave Direction

    The fear of heights that Laura had gave her some direction and motivation to take her first skydiving jump. She ended up liking it so much that she pursued this activity with a great passion.

    In my case, I had a fear of water — being a terrible swimmer as a child. But somehow I pushed myself during my teen years in the swimming pool and eventually became a certified scuba diver. Going on dives — sometimes over 100 feet deep — has enabled me to experience the beautiful underwater marine world, which I consider a deep privilege.

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    I also had an extreme fear of dogs when I was young. But seeing some of my friends who seemed to be getting so much out of having dogs, I was compelled to investigate the world of pet ownership further. I became a dog owner in 1979 and today I just can’t imagine a life without having any dogs at home.

    Let Fear Work For You

    It’s natural that we all have certain fears in our lives. But instead of avoiding them all of the time, perhaps take some efforts to challenge yourself and let fear work for you. Force yourself, perhaps with the help of other people with teamwork, to work through some of these fears.

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    You never know what the outcomes might be. The end result could be some new-found success and passions in your life that you never would have had if you had not faced the fear and went for it anyway.

    (Photo credit: Conceptual Image of Businessman Falling via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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